East Texan set to compete in the World Ability Sports Games in Thailand

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Tyler, Texas (KLTV) – An East Texas athlete is heading to Thailand to compete in the World Powerlifting Games on December 8-9.

Will Boots, a high school track star at Grace Community School in Tyler, will represent the United States on the 22-man team at the 2023 World Athletics Games in Thailand.

Will was born with a rare condition called Hand Heart Syndrome, which affects his tongue and all four legs. He uses running knives to compete.

“I’m an athlete with a disability. I probably started running around five or six. I’ve run in different national races all over the country, but this is my first international meet,” Will said.

Will holds national records in the long jump and other track events. While in Thailand, he will compete in the 100, 200 and 400 meter races along with the long jump.

“It makes me feel happy and anxious. I’m excited because it’s a new experience and I can’t wait to run and meet new people and stuff like that, but I’m nervous because it’s a lot bigger than what I’m used to and there’s a lot of riding on it,” Will said.

Will’s aim is to break a few world records and put his name on the line to compete in the 2028 Paralympic Games. Katie Boots, Will’s mother, hopes Will can be an example to East Texans that you can do anything you set your mind to.

“I hope that others will be encouraged, that they will see Will and see that there are many opportunities and opportunities and they take them when Will comes along,” Katie said.

Will said he is thankful and grateful for the opportunity and the people who helped him get to where he is today.

“I am very grateful to everyone who helped me through this: family, friends, teachers, doctors, coaches. I’m excited to see where this takes me, and I hope I do well,” Will said.

He leaves on Tuesday to go to Thailand. The tournament starts on December 8.

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